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Chapter 1: 10 Tips for Paleo Baking

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Chapter 8: Paleo Food Guide

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Shopping for foods that are Paleo friendly can be a daunting task when you’re first starting out. What’s allowed and what’s not? What are all of those mystery ingredients that are listed on food labels? For the most part, stocking your refrigerator and pantry is fairly simple, but there are going to be times when you don’t want to eat just steak and broccoli, and there will be other times when you need something fast and simple. Don’t worry—you’ll get the hang of it.

There are a few different versions of the Paleo diet, but for the sake of this discussion, we’re going to take the modern middle road so that it’s easier for you to make the transition to your new, healthier lifestyle. Throughout the following pages, we’re going to discuss what foods are okay and where you can find them. We’ll also discuss some alternate ingredients for baking bread and other goodies that won’t get you kicked out of the cave!

The first bit of good news is that you’re not going to be counting calories. Instead, you’re going to try to keep your portions in line with what your ancestors most likely ate. A diet that consists of 50 to 60 percent protein, 30 to 40 percent healthy carbs, and 5 to 10 percent healthy vegetable fats such as extra-virgin olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds is the general goal.

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Chapter 4: Flatbreads, Rolls, Muffins, and Pizza Dough

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Chapter 7: The Trouble with Gluten

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We’ve discussed many of the health benefits of switching to a Paleo diet, but one of the main benefits is that the foods enjoyed in the Paleo diet don’t have gluten in them. For millions of people worldwide, eating caveman-style is a relatively simple way to avoid digestive upset and even the cancers that are caused by an allergy to gluten.

Latin for “glue,” gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains that gives ground flours elasticity and helps them to rise. It’s also the binding component that gives bread its chewy texture and keeps it from crumbling apart after baking. Gluten can be removed from flour because it is insoluble in water. Typically when you remove the gluten, you also lose all of the good properties that make breads and cakes what they are.

Without gluten, your baked goods won’t rise and they’ll have a grainy, crumbly texture. They won’t taste anything like their gluten-laden cousins, and you probably won’t want to eat more than the first bite. Because of an increasing demand for gluten-free products, food corporations have dedicated a tremendous amount of time and money into creating tasty, effective, gluten-free products. Unfortunately, most commercially prepared gluten-free recipe mixes still fall short.

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Chapter 2: Savory Breads

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Some Paleo enthusiasts are adamantly against using yeast in recipes. However, the active yeast used in baking is closely related to the beneficial yeast found in fermented foods, so it can be included without guilt or adverse health reactions. When making this lovely bread, take care because yeast can be a finicky ingredient that needs a very specific temperature to rise. If your water is below 100 degrees F, a leaking amino acid creates a sticky dough, and if the water heats to over 130 degrees F, the yeast will die. This bread is lovely for sandwiches or when toasted with a dab of almond butter.

1. Pour the warm water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let sit for about 5–10 minutes until the yeast starts to foam.

2. Add the eggs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey to the yeast mixture, and stir to combine. Let mixture sit for about 3 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix, by hand if you have to, until well incorporated.

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